File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Article Posted by Expert Author: Nancy Ruskus  on 02/05/2013

When you upload files to or download files from your web site, there are usually two main methods of transfer. You can either use your site's web-based interface, or transfer your files via FTP with a computer program. FTP stands for file transfer protocol, and requires you to have software installed on your computer so that it can communicate with your web site.

FTP clients can generally be had for no cost. A quick search will reveal many options for free FTP clients. This fast and reliable method of transferring files requires having a server address for the FTP program to connect to. This address can be retrieved from your web site's host, usually in the profile or settings section of your web site account. You will also need the username and password of your web site account.

FTP provides convenience when transferring large numbers of files. When you upload an archive, this means that you are transferring a large chunk of files as one file. An archive can include several types of files, and an additional benefit of this format is that it automatically compresses the files, which greatly reduces transfer time.

The kinds of files that can be transmitted with FTP include images, web pages, documents and programs. However, it is important to note that any files you plan to upload to your website that aren't of your own creation were obtained with the permission of the original creator and/or owner of the files. In addition, it's advised that you list the name and content information of the creator on your site in order to provide proper credit and avoid copyright infringement accusations.

Although using FTP may seem like a confusing process for the first-time user, there are many resources available which can take you through the steps. The first place to look for advice about using FTP may be at your site host, as they may have a section of their site which is dedicated to tutorials of this kind.

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